The cabin — how we all love it.

My mother and father had a vision for our cabin long before they bought the property in 1979. We know they loved nature, the woods, and peace and tranquillity, and we also know they treasured family. Their vision for our shared family cabin experience has come to fruition. The place they built on McKeown Lake in central Minnesota is all that they hoped it to be — and more.

When the cabin was originally built, it wasn’t fancy. Drinking water was carried in, as was that for sun showers and dishes. Our feet stomped for mice before entering the outhouse and we awoke every two hours to place wood on the fire in the winter. We slept four and five family members in each little bedroom. We even remember sleeping under the kitchen table. Those were some of the best times in our lives. We learned what it meant to be together as a family.

After Dad passed away, my mother did everything possible to maintain and continue the cabin tradition. During very lean years, she could have sold the cabin and used the income. Yet, she knew how important this place was. With her resolve, the cabin has grown and expanded beyond anyone’s expectations.

My stepfather came into our family and brought new energy to the expansion of our treasured place. With the support of his craftsmanship, we were able to add a three-season porch, master bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Our family is grateful for all he has done to grow our beloved cabin. His contributions will forever be a part of our family legacy.

In recent years, my husband and I bought the property next door and built a second cabin to expand sleeping space and support our ever-growing family.

Nowhere does our family shine more brightly.

Dad, while we miss you every day, your love is felt through the wind in the trees, the cry of the loon, the colorful sunsets and the laughter of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Each time we return to the cabin, we feel wrapped in your love. Thank you for all you have done to create this legacy.

Terri Christenson, Apple Valley